Coast Guard/Public Health Service Consultant Report

Coast Guard/PHS Consultant’s Report

Sarah J. Arnold, MD, FAAFP
Food and Drug Administration

Greetings Public Health Service and Coast Guard Family Physicians! I am a new member of the Board of Directors representing our Corps, so I will briefly introduce myself. I served in the Navy as a family physician and flight surgeon for 14 years and transferred to the PHS in 2010. I started my PHS career with the Coast Guard at TRACEN Cape May, then transferred to the Department of Defense and worked for the Deployment Health Clinical Center for a couple of years. Two years later, I transferred to the Food and Drug Administration, where I am presently stationed. I am glad to have this opportunity to represent you to the Board of Directors. My goal is to increase PHS and CG membership in the USAFP.

If any of you know any PHS family physicians who are not members, please encourage them to join the only chapter of the Academy tailored to meet the needs of family physicians in uniform. Traditionally, most of our USAFP membership has come from the Coast Guard, which is wonderful, and I hope that continues. However, in order to address the needs of family physicians in other agencies, the membership from these agencies has to increase. I will be reaching out to all PHS family physicians through our Professional Advisory Committee in the coming months to encourage USAFP membership and involvement. Now, for some updates…

Temporary Grade promotions for this year posted on the CCMIS website on June 30th. Congratulations to all who promoted this year! As you know, promotion to O5 and O6 are competitive in all categories. For medical category this year, the promotion rate was about 28% for both O5 and O6. For anyone who did not promote, I highly recommend seeking mentoring advice. The mentoring subcommittee of the Physician Professional Advisory Committee (PPAC) provides mentors for career and promotion advice. Additional resources can be found in the “Promotions” tab of the CCMIS website (

The 51st Annual USPHS Scientific and Training Symposium was in Oklahoma City, May 14-20 and was hosted by the Commissioned Officers Foundation for the Advancement of Public Health. Over 1100 people attended the annual gathering of PHS officers and state and local health professionals. Several informative workshops and lectures on a variety of topics were available. The academic partner for this year’s symposium was the University of Oklahoma College of Public Health, led by Dean Gary Taskob, Ph.D. Plenary speakers included HHS Acting Assistant Secretary for Health, Dr. Karen DeSalvo, our 19th Surgeon General VADM Vivek Murthy, and Dr. Mike Parkinson of UPMC Health Plan who delivered the annual Luther Terry Memorial Lecture. VADM Murthy announced that our personnel system will be receiving a much-needed overhaul and will be modernized, so we will no longer have to rely on two fax lines for updating our (6000+) personnel records, which was received with a standing ovation. The Training Symposium is a wonderful annual event and a great opportunity to meet, network and socialize with your fellow PHS officers, receive some worthwhile training, and get up to speed with what’s happening in Public Health. That’s all I have for now. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or issues: